10th July 2017

Officers from the Department of Planning and Environment will travel to the Lightning Ridge district in far west NSW to undertake a compliance operation focussing on mineral claims in the town’s opal fields.

Safety and environment inspectors will carry out on-site inspections in the state’s opal capital between July 10 and 14 to monitor and enforce compliance with mining and safety laws.

“This will be the fourth proactive compliance operation conducted by the Department since 2014,” said Anthony Keon, from the Department’s Resource Regulator.

“Compliance checks are routine, however given the nature and scale of opal mining operations in Lightning Ridge, a coordinated operation is again being undertaken“

This year the operation will focus on mine shaft safety, mechanical and electrical safety, mineral claim conditions and rehabilitation of mineral claims.

“Where non-compliance is detected, our inspectors may issue a range of sanctions such as written warnings, statutory directions, penalty notices, prosecution or cancellation of a mineral claim,” he said.

“Mine safety is of paramount importance – they can be tough and dangerous workplaces and our role is to make sure mine workers are safe.”

Claim holders are encouraged to address any compliance or safety concerns they may have to ensure compliance with claim conditions and relevant legislation including:

  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011
  • Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013
  • Mining Act 1992

Further information on obligations created by the grant of a right to explore or extract minerals and for information for landholders and the community can be found at the department’s websitewww.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/miners-and-explorers/applications-and-approvals/opal-mining.

Mineral claim holders and land owners can get more information on the operation or seek compliance assistance by contacting the Lightning Ridge DPE office on (02) 6829 9200.